How to Become a Gerontologist in Kentucky - KY
If you want to learn how to become a gerontologist in Kentucky, the best way to begin is to volunteer or work at a nursing home, hospital, or geriatric care center. By volunteering at one of these institutions, you can get a better idea of the careers you can pursue in this rewarding field.
Pre-professional training in gerontology is highly specific to your career interests. If you plan to become a geriatric/adult psychiatrist, you would be required to obtain at least two years of supervised training in a facility that treats elderly patients. When you work in this type of environment, you can expect to be in close contact with Dementia and Alzheimer's patients, and may work with them on a one-on-one basis. Since this can be a stressful environment that requires you to think on your toes, you should have excellent problem-solving skills, communication and interpersonal skills, field knowledge, and high emotional stability.
You should carry the same qualities if you plan to become a geriatric nurse, nutritionist, dietician, physical therapist, or athletic trainer. You should also be prepared to spend one to two years in your pre-professional training program, working under the direct supervision of a professional who is certified in your area of expertise.
Once you meet all the education and training requirements for your field, you should seek certification by taking an exam administered by the State of Kentucky and/or a professional licensing board like the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists, or the most predominant licensing board for your professional field.
Professional certificates and licenses don't last forever, however, and do require some upkeep. Most certificates and licenses are valid for only two years, and require their holders to continue their education by participating in graduate courses and professional seminars.